As winter sets in here in the North country, the temperatures have plummeted, and everything looks a little frosty from “Behind the Windshield”. This year it seems winter decided to sting us a bit with below normal temperatures right off the git go. Here, around the Anchorage Bowl, we have little snow to show for our sub-zero experiences. Needless to say, we are not letting that put a damper on our holiday season.
Thanksgiving is taking on a whole different meaning this year for many of us. We are thankful for the safe return of loved ones from battlefields overseas, and of sacrifices beyond description. We are thankful for the little things as well: a moose calf coming through the front yard just to stop and say hello, all the while, wasting no time devouring my wife’s leftovers in her flower beds. A red fox running down the middle of our street, as life here in Alaska continues on.
We sit in our living room contemplating all things Alaskan. The dogs announcing the arrival of a bull moose wandering through the neighbors left over raspberries. The gathering of the bald eagles in the spruce trees by the firehouse. There is a sound one can only experience in the midst of winter. It is the sound of runners on dogsleds, the skis of the snowmobile carving through the light ice cover over the snow.The smell of smoke coming from the chimney from a cabin in the woods, as the fire is stoked for the onset of the evenings cold. Of course, the arrival of the aurora, the Northern Lights. When we feel the loneliness of the winter, we also feel the anticipatory coming of spring and with it the explosion of life. But first, we endure.
We talk of the coming season of travelers, as though it were a family reunion. Planning for each tour and what new and exciting venue to add. The explosion of colors from the wild flowers, and the newness of life with the arrival of all the little ones, be they caribou, moose, bears, and whales! Lord how I am stuck on it all!
The Christmas Season always brings a smile even in times of trouble. We celebrate something much more than gifts under the tree. We celebrate hope, and the future, and for us in Alaska, it truly is “North to the Future”. We are excited for this time of year and of course the winter season; but we are also excited for what lies ahead. The next turn in the road, the next adventure!
And so good friends, from our house to yours, may you have the happiest and merriest of all seasons… “Behind the Windshield”.